For some reason, I volunteered for the salad course for this year’s cheese party.
I didn’t have any recipes in mind, I just decided it was a good idea. If you aren’t yet aware of the intricacies of our annual cheese party, I invite you to read about it here. That should set the stage for my total panic about two weeks before the party, when I had nothing.
Some of you may be thinking—two weeks, that’s plenty of time. That’s true. I have an innate ability to panic about three times earlier than most people would, which seems to be genetic. My mother and sister are exactly the same.
After brainstorming and flipping through recipes, using my company’s #cooking channel in Slack to crowd source ideas, I decided to first pick the cheese, then work backwards. That’s how we ended up here. With burrata. Because nobody goes wrong with burrata.
I wanted the salad course to be light—the cheese party is an all day affair with many courses—so sparing room in the attendees’ stomaches is important, especially if you’re on an early course. What goes well with creamy burrata? Salty prosciutto and sweet, tart plums, a little jalapeño vinaigrette to add some spice and some rye bread croutons for a little crunch. You literally get it all in one bite.
This recipe is written with small plated salads in mind for a group of 10-12, but you can make a beautiful arranged salad on a large platter as well.
- 2-3 pieces of day old rye bread, cut into 1 inch squares
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
- ½ cup olive oil oil
- ½ jalapeño pepper, seeded
- 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Kosher salt
- 4-6 cups arugula
- ¼ pound prosciutto, sliced thin
- 2-3 plums, halved, pit removed, sliced thin
- 12 ounces burrata cheese, usually they come in 4 ounce balls
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Toss bread pieces with olive oil and salt, and spread single layer onto a baking dish. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until croutons are firm. Let cool completely.
- Puree jalapeño and olive oil in a food processor or blender until smooth. Cover and let chill for at least 2 hours or up to a day. Add lemon juice and a pinch of salt.
- Toss arugula with dressing, reserving about a ¼ cup. Adjust salt and lemon juice to taste. Divide arugula evenly among 10-12 plates.
- Top with croutons, about 1 slice of prosciutto, 3-4 slices of plums per plate.
- Gently cut burrata balls into quarters and place a quarter on top of each salad plate (about 1-2 ounces per plate). Drizzle with remaining vinaigrette and top with freshly ground black pepper.
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit September 2016 issue.